Weekly wrap – Commencing Thursday 25 June 2020


There are a few more returning acts and venues back this weekend – Leng Pleng urges you to get out there, have a good time, and support businesses and musicians who have been in mothballs for too long.  Remember that some gig fees are not what they once were, and that good tippers are better lovers.

Friday night down at Farm to Table, Marianna Hensley joins with Joe Wrigley for Heartworn Highway, a trip around the Americana universe, while at Green Pepper, Jazz and the City #3 features Intan Andriana and Metta Legita with Gerard Evans (see Passing Chords below) for an evening of cool jazz.  Up at Oscar’s on the Corner, Oscar Acoustic presents the trio The Swabs (you would have seen them in Sssessionsss) for an early show of originals and unusual covers, before the house band K’n’E.

Down in Kampot on Friday there’s the choice between the Golden Era sounds of Arome Khmer at Monkey Republic and Trowsers Down at Banyan Tree.

Saturday night offers a nice variety, with the acoustic offerings of Christophe Horvath at Botanico and Robin Narciso bringing Cloud back onstream, The 99 Boyz put on a special farewell show for departing founder member Saska Chewan at Alchemy, and The Goldilocks Zone make their post-pandemic return at Oscar’s on the Corner.

Come Sunday, the Kampot Playboys will be performing at 60 Road Studios in Siem Reap in an event to be livestreamed for all of us that can’t get up there.

Get in quick for another farewell concert next Saturday – Rhiannon Johnson’s goodbye performance (with many friends and special guests) at Penh House has only 50 tickets available.  Also requiring booking is a concert by the Carrie Herbert Trio at Farm to Table next Thursday.

Don’t forget The Schkoots’ new album, the appropriately named Incorrigibles, was released last week on Bandcamp – you can enjoy a free download.

Hard Rock Café are offering a special on Khmer barbecue from Wednesday to Monday (and Taco Tuesdays), and they might even have some musical related activities on now or soon.

Oscar’s on the Corner continues to offer a range of live bands every night from 10 pm.

The Leng Pleng Weekly Feature

The train starts to roll again

 This weekend sees the return of The Goldilocks Zone, one of those all-original bands that Phnom Penh seems to toss up every year or so, who will play on Saturday night at Oscar’s on the Corner.  Singer, songwriter and guitarist Jack Dodd had time to sit down with LengPleng over a few draughts to talk playing, band history, pandemics and Phnom Penh.

“Playing live again is the thing I’m most excited about at this current moment.  Ever since I first started playing music it was always my favourite part.  I like the rehearsals, the recording, everything that goes with being in a band, but for me it all culminates in that live moment, whether it’s good or bad, that’s what it’s all about for me.  I’m really looking forward to that again.”

Read the full article here

 Passing Chords:  a few things you might not know about…

Photo: supplied

Gerard Evans.  Originally out of Detroit, Gerard is has had a genuinely full career as musician – and still just loves to play.  Gerard can be seen playing, performing, and frequently sitting in on many of Phnom Penh’s stages.  His instruments of choices are flute and soprano sax but he can blow some alto when the need arises.

Your pet musical hate:
Cats that play too loud, whose motto is “loud is good”.  I like acoustic and I like a mic, because you can do different things, but I definitely like acoustic for the sake of acoustic.

A private musical indulgence:
John Coltrane.  Improvisational jazz.

The year you first came to Cambodia:

An early music memory:
As soon as a recorder hit my lips I was stuck.  I grew up in a really bad neighbourhood, so music gave me calm.  I was safer in the practice room.  Also I played the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1985, with a community college band.  We won all the local competitions which took us to Switzerland, and I won a scholarship to go to Berklee College of Music.  While in Switzerland I met a real renaissance man, Giuliano Crevelli, a painter and sculptor, he played piano, saxophone, clarinet – he said come stay with me: you’re an artist.  He showed me videos of all my heroes, like Charlie Parker and Coltrane and Miles Davis.

Your favourite food:
Meat.  I could probably eat a whole cow.  I’m a midwestern eater at heart – meat and potatoes.

What you do on a night off:
Practice.  Or go sit in.  You don’t always have a chance to go hear your friends, so I might go see somebody play.

Your first instrument:
Clarinet, from nine or ten years old.  My father was a musician who had to give it up, he had played in the Navy and was pretty accomplished but had to get a real job.  When my father found out I was serious about music he made sure I got lessons from the symphony guys.

The country you want to visit:
I’d definitely like to go to France, I haven’t been there.  And the Netherlands, Amsterdam – my first job was in a flower shop, I would love to go and see fields of flowers.

A stage habit or superstition you have:
No.  Just play.

Something people might be surprised to know about you:
I’m not a dancer, but I owned a dance studio in Boston.  My ex-wife was a dancer and a piano player who accompanied me; I got behind her as a dancer and we opened a studio and ran it for 15 years.  We had aerobics, jazz dance, modern dance, hip hop.

A question from last week’s participant, Ricky Haldemann: who would you most like to play with – living or dead, band or soloist?
There are so many.  Herbie Hancock did an album called The Imagine Project.  He’s got Pink singing a duet with John Legend, and the next track is a Brazilian woman (Ceu), the next track is Wayne Shorter with Chaka Khan and Anoushka Shankar and an Arabic woman (K.S.Chithra) that gives Chaka Khan a run for her money.  I can’t even name all the people.  It would be interesting to do something like that, cutting edge, experimental.

A question for next week’s participant:  What inspired you to be a “working” musician?

Steve Porte Photo of the Week


Let us know about any musical activities:  gigs@lengpleng.com.

Stay safe out there, and see you around the traps.

your correspondent,

Guillermo Wheremount




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